- Barrack Street
Barrack Street is in an area of Carlow known locally as 'The Top of the
Town'. At one end there used to be a Military Barracks (now
demolished) and off this street is Little Barrack Street also known as
"Gallipot". There is a Retired Persons home on the site now. I have
recently been told that there exists a deed which indicates that the
site of the barracks in Carlow town was purchased in 1781 on an annual
lease of £30 "forever" the site was 3.5 acres.
Barrack Street runs between The Shamrock on the north side of the
town to the junction with Burrin Street and Kilkenny Road on the south
The following is an article from the Carlow Nationalist newspaper of
Christmas Eve 2003.
"Change is inevitable but it's so difficult to imagine what Little
Barrack Street was like in the 1940s. Annie Parker-Byrne, who now lives
in No. 3, remembers playing Cowboys and Indians in Johnny Power's field
with the Conville's, the Fenlon's and the Murphy's. The young children
would hide caps in the hedges and have bonfires or "camps" where they'd
roast potatoes. Some of the boys would even catch trout in the river and
roast them over the campfire.
A row of 15 single-storey cottages, with a cobbled stone pathway
running alongside stood outside the high wall of the old British
Military Barracks, which later became the Sacred Heart Home (now Crosbie
Place). Inside the narrow doorway of each cottage there was a kitchen
and a beautiful high ceiling. Apart from the kitchen, the cottages
consisted of two bedrooms and a loft. Some families used the loft as a
bedroom, even though it was impossible to stand up straight.
Annie is passionate about Little Barrack Street, it is no surprise
that she fought to preserve the unique streetscape, of the cobble stone
pathway and single-storey cottages. Annie's father, Robert (Bobbie) was
reared in No.10 and married Peg Dargan. Bobbie was in the British Army
for the Second World War, but he contracted a rare disease of the heart
and malaria while abroad.
When Bobbie Parker came home from the army he drove Carpenter's
hearse for a few years. Annie remembers the last time he drove the
hearse, was when Mrs Carpenter died. Sadly, within six weeks of this,
Bobbie died at the tender age of 33.
Annie has many fond memories of her childhood, growing up in Little
Barrack Street. She remembers picking blackberries with the other
children up the Burrin and going down to "Wattie Kehoe's" in Pembroke to
sell them. "We'd sell the blackberries for money and we'd give our
parents some of it, which they'd buy food with and we'd always have the
price of a comic or the pictures." (pictures = Cinema, PP)
Girls Crystal, The Beano, and The Dandy were some of the comics which
Annie enjoyed reading. Perhaps, this is where some of the inspiration
for "divilment" among the young children in Little Barrack Street came
from. One man who kept a close eye on this behaviour was Guard Kelly (a
member of the Irish Police force, PP), who lived in Barrack Street.
We used to play handball against the high wall of the County Home
(the former Military Barracks, PP). Guard Kelly, who lived across the
road... when we'd see him coming home on the bicycle we used have to
run...Annie remembers how they'd encounter Guard Kelly later in the
school in Tullow Street (he was also the school attendance officer) and
regret their mischief, knowing that they weren't supposed to be playing
handball on the road.
"He'd be sitting there with the roll and if people... youngsters were
missing from school he'd call them up to know why were they missing. And
then maybe he'd say 'you were playing football on the street the other
day, don't let me catch you,' or 'you were playing handball'..."
The youngsters found their own way to get back at Guard Kelly, or at
least his wife, Mrs Kelly. "We were divils," says Annie. She remembers
how they used to tie a thread to the door handle of Guard Kelly's house.
"We'd go across under the trees with a spool of thread and rap the
But they were always cute and made sure they only played the trick
when Guard Kelly wasn't home. They picked out certain people to torment,
another was poor old Tommy Finnegan.
The Fairgreen (where the shopping centre is now) (and the old
Military barracks was, PP), was a "great place" of intrigue for young
children in Paupish. The town dump was situated there, and all sorts of
oddments, like old bicycle frames could be found there. Annie and her
friends learned to ride a bicycle, by assembling one themselves and
riding it up and down the road, without even a saddle.
"You could find a frame of a bicycle and two wheels somewhere else,
and you could attach the frame and two wheels together with wire... we
used to cycle down the street on these."
Source: Carloman. c2004
According to PIGOT and Co.'s Provincial Directory of 1824.
- There was Lady Benjamin. who had a Flour Factor in Barrack Street and
a Thomas Kirwin who was a Tailor in Barrack St
- Images of Barrack Street
- by W.
- Carpenters Bar on Barrack Street c.2006
- This is where all the farmers, drovers and buyers went drinking and
dealing on a fair day in Carlow. It was the nearest public house to the
- Entrance to Tesco's and the new shopping centre from Barrack Street
- Fair Green shopping centre, Carlow.
Little Barrack Street c.2006
- The old School House on Barrack Street.
- Source: Google Maps
- Barrack Street
- Source: Google Maps
- Carpenters Pub in Barrack Street.
- Note: Funeral Home, Off Licence and Pub all in
the same name and the same building.
- Source: Google Maps
Barrack Street c.1842
Source: OSi Mapviewer
(Sacred Heart Home)
Barrack Street c.2009
This is my great great grandmother Mary
Timmons who lived at number 12 Barrack Street. She was married to
Patrick O'Neill and they had two children; Kathleen and James. Does
anyone have any information about the Timmons family would love to
know more about the rest of the family.
The old Carlow Barracks (c1966) which used to stand at the end
of Barrack Street.
- (The car in the picture
above is a Triumph Herald)
picture is of the south wing of the old barracks in Barrack
Street. The infamous 1798 Court Martial trials took place in this
section of the barrack building, prisoners were executed in the front
yard. In 1922, following the withdrawal of the British Army, the newly
established Irish Free State Army took over the building. Later it was
discovered that the building was too small to accommodate the 500
soldiers stationed in Carlow. In February 1923, the army decided to
moved to the Old Union Workhouse on the Kilkenny Road, which is on the south side of the town, and
the inmates of the workhouse were moved in Crossley Tenders (see photo
above) to the
barracks. The barracks was renamed the Sacred Heart Home but later
became known as the County Home and was administered as a Home for
the Elderly by the Mercy nuns. I have recently been told that there
exists a deed which indicates that the site of the barracks in
Carlow town was purchased in 1781 on an annual lease of £30
"forever" the site was 3.5 acres. The building is now demolished and a
home has been built on the site now.
Carlow in Old Picture Postcards by Michael Purcell.
G-boat being transported through
Barrack Street, Carlow from Thompson Engineering.
Source: NEWSLETTER OF THE INLAND
WATERWAYS ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND